03 April 2010

Between church and school

There are more churches in this country than schools. Can you imagine that?
Any village even if it only consists of a dozen houses, has their own. If they are a bit larger, they'll also have a mosque and a few christian options. Those churches rise more promptly than mushrooms here.
While people are living in houses mainly built out of bamboo sticks and dirt, the mosques and churches are concrete and brick and windows and paint.
I'm not against religion, to everyone his conviction, but wouldn't these funds be better spent somewhere else?

When I just arrived I met the wife of a Baptist missionary preacher. Their family, and her sister's family lived in San Pedro. The two families combined supported 14 or 15 kids, all with the money of the mission. When I asked her what the mission was doing, I was expecting her to tell me they built schools, wells, hospitals, the lot... Instead, she told me they build churches. I asked her what happened if the church was finished (again expecting her to say they did alfabetising projects, read to children, did information sessions), instead she said: "Well, we just buil one somewhere else".
She also told me she was a nurse and when I asked if she worked here, she simply said it was too dirty here.


  1. Hi Laura,

    Thank you for sharing this.

    It is same in every country. In India same thing is happening. Most of religious institutions (irrespective of religion) are behind establishing their own religion. They do not work for God. They work for preaching. It is 'who is more powerful' game. Sad :(.

  2. You are so right. It is so sad, because often religion has beautiful core philosophies, but if it just comes down to conversion rates, what's the use any more?

  3. Wow, how did you manage to keep a straight face during that conversation? Churches do not save people's lives the way hospitals or an education do.

  4. You have pinpointed it. It's sad but true. I am in korea now a days. Though there is good infrastructure here, people always try to preach, even at lunch time. All the foreign students try to run away from those missionaries. hmmm ... Why don't they invest this money in the schools, which will be helpful for humankind.

    Nice post. I like it.